Spain enroute to new election as parties rule out last-minute deal
The King is still set to meet with the parties next week.
SPAIN’S political parties have ruled out last-minute talks to form a government, making a fresh election in June almost inevitable.
King Felipe VI is set to meet the parties next week in a last-ditch attempt to strike a deal, but acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he will tell the king he failed to garner enough support to form a government.
The fragmented election results at the end of last year saw Rajoy’s People Party win 123 seats, the Socialists 90, Podemos 69 and Ciudadanos 40.
Rajoy blamed the leader of the Socialist party Pedro Sanchez for the deadlock: “Pedro Sanchez can avert the elections. I call on him once more to work on a grand coalition government that would bring stability to Spain,” he tweeted.
But leaders in the Socialist party say Rajoy knows a coalition is not possible.
Senior member Antonio Hernando said: “Rajoy knows it from day one, we ran in the elections to make sure he would no longer be prime minister.”
He also blasted anti-austerity Podemos for turning down a three-way coalition with the Socialists and Ciudadanos.
But almost 90% of Podemos members voted against such a coalition, while the leftist party hinted it would run on a joint platform with a former communist movement if a new vote is called.
Elsewhere, Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera’s called for Rajoy and Sanchez to step back and allow a transition government lead by an independent figure to be voted in.
He said: “We should assume that we have failed and we should work on a consensus government that could make reforms.”
Sanchez dismissed the proposal.